Driven by his love for his brother, who identifies as a gay man, and seeing how, all too often, young adults often fall in love with the Catholic Church but lose interest when it comes to its teachings on same-sex attraction, Father Michael Schmitz wrote the new book MADE FOR LOVE: SAME-SEX ATTRACTIONS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
The disconnect between the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality and the way those teachings are typically communicated is expansive. Father Schmitz wrote MADE FOR LOVE to bridge that gap, to show that there are other options besides unconditional acceptance or outright hate.
MADE FOR LOVE is written in a conversational and loving tone, showing how to speak about same-sex attraction without pushing away those who view it differently than the Church.
Father Schmitz, who teaches at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, wrote MADE FOR LOVE for those struggling with same-sex attractions, for those who love someone with same-sex attractions and for those parents who have a child who identifies as gay. This is not a book that says “here is why God loves you but here is why you are wrong.”
Quite the opposite. Father Schmitz affirms the reader, no matter their sexual orientation, and invites them into the Church, letting them know that there is indeed a place for them there, that they will be loved. The book has a helpful question and answer chapter at the end as well.
MADE FOR LOVE does not hammer on the cultural issues that surround the politically charged topic today. Instead, it lays significant groundwork on the importance of the body, the definition of marriage, what love is, what the Catholic Church teaches on homosexuality — and why — and the problem of moral relativism in today’s culture and why that is affecting the message of the Church.
“Our brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction are saddled with a heavy cross,” said Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of FOCUS. “When others muddy the waters of Our Lord’s love for all, Fr. Schmitz’s book filters the pure and renewing love of God for those who experience same-sex attraction and helps their loved ones understand this particular struggle.”
Full story at Christian Newswire.
People with same sex attraction wouldn’t be faced with a struggle if it weren’t for people who make it into a struggle. People wouldn’t feel unwelcome if there weren’t people in the pew next to them who make them feel unwelcome. People who seek to understand the “struggle” of those with same sex attraction ought to understand the people who make it a struggle for us.
Why don’t you read the book before being critical of what it advocates?
Mike, I wasn’t being critical of the book at all, I was making a general comment that about the notions that are mentioned in this review of the book. Thanks for pointing out your take on my post so that I could clarify.
YFC, you blame others for your struggle when it is your own violation of the Natural Moral law that is the source of your struggle. No one in the pews is going to disrespect someone living chastely according to their state in life. This is especially true of single people who have never married but remain chaste for our Lord’s sake. Yes this is a struggle but an interior one, and that’s where you need to look.
Dan, you just proved my point. Thank you!
YFC and you proved mine, you want the Church to approve of sodomy, so you feel “welcomed” . Gee, I want to cheat on my wife, I demand the Church approve of adultery so I feel welcome while I am doing it.
Oh how clumsy of me. I meant to disprove your point.
YFC your struggle is with laws of nature and God.
What did the people next to you in the pew do to make you feel unwelcome?
How much space and time do you have?
750 characters. Come on: answer the question.
As much as you need.
I know people who think that every Cathollic homily is a homophobic diatribe with the priest yelling SODOM & GOMORRAH! Thinking about it, other than the diaocisan mandated prayer for “The protection of marriage” during the Prop 8 campaign, the only anti-gay thing I recall being said from the pulpit was something like “The USCCB can’t say this but AIDS is God’s punishment of homosexuals. OTOH one reads all kinds of stories about people being fired from paid and volluteer ministries for being gay or getting “gay married.”
Thanks for the statement. In the past, I’ve heard a number of seemingly credible people make statements that they hear nothing but anger and hate in how priests and other Catholics talk about homosexuality. But truthfully, other than some commentors on this website, I’ve rarely ever heard such rhetoric in Catholic circles. I’ve tried to reconcile this disconnect by postulating that homosexuals might hear a priest say something pastoral but interpret it as anger and hate. It sounds like you basically said the same thing.
I wish to clarify that I’m talking about priests talking about homosexuals and homosexuality which is different than advocacy for homosexual behavior which the Church would condemn.
The Catholic ideal is to renounce sin, first of all, and then to renounce any semblance of sin, then to renounce things of the world which are licit but unnecessary.
We are all working on this. We should not support others in things which harm their souls. (It often happens, though.)
How would the people in the pew next to you even know that you had same sex attraction?
I hope that our Catholic bishops will read and study Fr. Scmitz’s book, because it sounds like it follows Catholic teaching. If so, it should be promoted to counter-balance Fr. James Martin’s meanderings. Hope springs eternal; but I’m also a realist. I doubt that this will happen.
Truth-Seeker … I’ve read Fr. Martin’s book and, of course, Fr. Schmitz’s isn’t out yet but I will order it. From what I read here, it’s now clear that Fr. Schmitz’s writings disagree substantially with Fr. Martin. When my brother came home from Iraq, he came to terms with being gay (seems to run in the family :-) he talked – or tried to talk to – a priest. Father ended up yelling about SODOM AND GOMORRAH very much like some of our posters here. Over the family’s objections, he became an Episcopalian. I’m glad to see that that type of “pastoral counseling” when people come out is being replaced by Fr. Schmitz and Fr. Martin’s approaches..
Fr. Martin disagrees substantially with the Catholic Church.
Mike .. Have you read Building a Bridge? I have. I don’t see him contradicting any teaching on faith and morals. He is suggusting new language in the conversation between the official Church and gay people. I think Fr. Schmitz may be doing the same.
Fr. Martin is too clever to say or reveal that he disagrees substantially with the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he does. Everyone knows he’s lying about supporting the Church’s doctrines about homosexuality and chastity, just as everyone knew Obama was lying when he claimed to support traditional marriage and oppose gay marriage. Everyone knew Obama was just saying all that to get elected. Everyone similarly knows Fr. Martin is saying what he does to remain a “priest in good standing” so he can spread his venom indirectly.
Somewhere in there is the agreement that he has not disagreed with the Catholic Church.
Maybe we should stop giving Father Martin publicity. I got on his twitter and now he’s promoting Ignatian Yoga which is being taught by a friend of his. Let’s just drop him as a topic of convo.
How so, Mike?
Not on doctine or discipline.
Even one of his most vocal critics, ChurchMilitant.com, says that in his book “Building a Bridge” (which I believe is the book CH refers to here) he says nothing that specifically contradicts Catholic doctrine. They claim that he says things at speaking events that are problematic or heterodox. I’ve read one of their reviews of one of his speeches. I appreciate the Resistance members who attend these events and pray. And then report on what actually is said rather using vague generalities like heterodox. I think Father Martin should not be criticizing others and then complain because someone criticizes him.
Controversy sells. But it creates division and sometimes scandal.
Ooops .. I meant “…not clear that Fr. Schmitz’s writings…” Sorry for the Dislexa :-)
C&H, I grieve your brother’s choice to become an Episcopalian. When one is so blessed to have been given the Catholic Faith, one should not part with it. He should go back to the Church and the priest (if he can) and stay in his anger and shame and embarrassment until it does not hurt him so much. It is healing but healing hurts. He is responsible for his choices but he should give himself the chance to revisit his choice.
Anon .. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sadly everything which can be said and done was said and done a long time ago. He is very active in his church and in fact converted his husband,once an atheist, to his faith. I was once angry at the priest but have since come to understand that he was a product of his generation and truly thought he was doing the right thing. Thanks again
Still gonna pray. God bless you and your family.
This is the second time I have heard of someone leaving the Church because a priest yelled at them in confession. The other one was not gay, although I don’t know exactly what happened. That person didn’t go to any Church. I heard they passed away. But I don’t know if they reconciled with the Church at the end.
Pass me the salt shaker.
They left the Catholic Church when they “accepted being gay”. Not when they later said they they decided to leave the Catholic Church. To be in a state of mortal sin is to effectively leave the Church.
ANM … Since most of us are … we hope temporarally .. in a state of mortal sin a lot of the time does the number of members of the Catholic Church change hour by hour?
C&H, I’m really startled by this post. You should always avoid mortal sin. I don’t know anybody that has that big of a problem avoiding mortal sin.
No, that is not correct. In the Catechism of Trent written by Pope St. Pius V, he states that there are only ” three classes of persons excluded from the Church’s pale: infidels, heretics and schismatics, and excommunicated persons…
But with regard to the rest, however wicked and evil they may be, it is certain that they still belong to the Church: Of this the faithful are frequently to be reminded, in order to be convinced that, were even the lives of her ministers debased by crime, they are still within the Church, and therefore lose nothing of their power.”
The Church does not teach that being gay is a mortal sin
You are correct. But commuting “acts” are disordered and mortal sin. But so are “heterosexual” acts outside of sacramental marriage. Perhaps we (laity, not clergy) stop saying “your sin is greater than my sin” and just simply recognize that we are a hospital for sinners in as much as we are a museum of saints. I completely agree with the Church’s teachings on this; however, I also “get” that those with same-sex attraction may, sometimes, feel singled-out. But truth is truth. Sin is sin whether it’s my sin our your sin. We need to encourage each other.
I believe a Message from Maui is in order on this one.
How nice it would be if Father was a faculty member at the College of St. Benedict which next door to UMD in Duluth Mn. My guess is that the Sisters of St. Benedict would rather have Father James Martin instead.
I believe there is a difference between chastity and celibacy.
“[A]ll too often, young adults often fall in love with the Catholic Church but lose interest when it comes to its teachings on same-sex attraction .” I don’t think so.
As for how to discuss same-sex attraction, let’s not and say we did.
The problem is love. It is seen as love. And God is love. Sex is not love.
And we need to love God first. To love God we must carry our cross and deny ourselves and follow him.
Same sex attraction is not a sin. But it is something where, just like every temptation in the world and every person in the world, one needs to “conquer one’s passions.”
Just a few comments:
1 Having same-sex attraction is definitely not a choice. Who would want to belong to a marginalized and often discriminated group? Who would want to live in fear for having this attraction. Having same-sex attraction is a bit like being left-handed. One doesn’t choose to be so. It’s just the way it is. And it is not an ‘experience’ just as same sex-attraction is not an ‘experience’. It is innate within one’s being.
2 The church’s teaching denies LGBT persons the most human basic right…. to be intimate emotionally and physically with the person they love and share their lives with in a committed relationship. We’re talking about love here, the giving of onself to another and not just romantic love but deep love. It’s often said that one has to carry his/her cross, but isn’t this an additional cross one has to carry on top of all the crosses of life in general? Why should celibacy be expected from them when it is not their choice as is, for example, in the case for priests, monks and nuns?
3 We’ve heard that the gento-sexual act is for ‘bonding and babies’. With most catholic families just having 1 or 2 or 3 babies per family this act cannot be performed all that often!